Good morning Michigan, goodbye USA! After a breakfast with the famous plastic bag pancake machine from the Holiday Inn Express we packed our stuff in the car and we drove towards Canada.
Unfortunately we don’t have pictures as we weren’t allowed to take any and it was so foggy that we could barely see 50 meter in front of our car.
After paying the 3$ toll for the bridge we enter the border control area. Everything was fine and we passed the border just 10 minutes after we left the parking lot of our hotel.
Emily slept the 30’minutes of the 3 hour drive home and after she woke up we stopped at the first Starbucks we found for a coffee and a restroom break.
Besides a little bit of traffic the drive home went smooth and at 1:10pm we arrived home from an amazing vacation full of adventures.
We drove a total of 5322 km in the white Toyota Sienna. Although it didn’t look entirely white anymore after this trip. That average to roughly 380km a day. In total we had roughly 50 minutes of delays due to traffic or construction along the road, not bad I think.
Also we visited a total of 17 States including the District of Columbia and Ontario in that count, not bad with a 2 year old in the car.
Emily did much better as expected, we did not even use the iPad in the car. During the trips over 5 hours she got a bit annoyed but every morning she wanted to go back in the “Witte auto” (White car). But today she was really excited to go back home to Mama’s Magical Castle! Don’t ask me where she got that from, but one thing is sure her imagination works really well! And she was really excited to come home to this note, she couldn’t stop talking about these 2:
And I was really excited to come home to a fresh mowed lawn is pretty amazing, especially since it was done both in the front- and the backyard! Thanks crazy neighbour!
Mama was less excited as she needed to do the laundry from the last 2 weeks at once!
Around 9:00am we loaded the car and started our drive towards Port Huron in Michigan. Typically it’s 5 hours long drive but we decided to take a detour!
But first things first, a stop at the first Starbucks in Indiana, State #16 of our trip. And we scored another mug!
And then the big question call my boss and extend the vacation to visit some other states? Or stick to the plan?
Emily was already a sleep at that moment and soon after we passed the state border between Indiana and Michigan, State #17 this is als is also the last state of our amazing trip! And we are also back to our usual, Eastern Time zone!
From there we drove straight to Nelly’s Dutch Village in Holland, Michigan! This is the reason for our 30 minute detour. We knew it existed and had this planned as a break in the middle of today’s trip toward Port Huron.
Nelly’s Dutch Village is a fun little stop along the road. We loved seeing old Dutch things and typical Dutch things on our Roadtrip through the US.
We start with lunch with Dutch Dogs (frikandel, almost like the real thing) and Kroketten (beef croquettes, they are better in Canada).
After we had lunch it was time for school! And as soon as school it was time for fun. Emily loved the gigantic wooden shoe slide, the carrousel, Harry’s Windmill Ride (a Ferris wheel) and the Windmill Water Pumping race with Ducks most.
Also she tried on wooden shoes for the first time ever.
After we bought some little things in the gift shop before we drove to Port Huron. The roads were terrible, Belgium roads (for non Europeans, they have the worst roads in North-West Europe) are a luxury compared to the I-69 and the I-96 and the I-196 in Michigan.
The closer we got to our hotel the more we regret it that we didn’t pass the Canadian boarder today as we had only 5 minutes of traffic in Chicago.
And if we look out of our hotel room we can actually see he bridge which brings us into Canada tomorrow.
But first a final visit to a Target, some food court food as Emily asked “Mama, Papa, can I have rice please?” and getting the last US cheap gas before we call it a day.
If we are lucky and it is not to busy at the border tomorrow morning we only have 4 hours to go on this amazing trip!
This morning we woke up to experience a full day in Chicago. The weather forecast weren’t great but we decided to go out and see what the day would bring.
We decided yesterday to go for a architecture boat tour. From what we’ve read that is the best way to discover Chicago. And as soon as we were all ready we left the hotel and got some breakfast at the nearby Dunkin’ Donuts.
After breakfast we walked on the River Walk towards the ticket boots for the serve Tal boat tours Chicago is offering. We decided to go with Chicago’s First Lady Cruises and we boarded the boat for the 11 am tour.
Barry Aldridge from the Chicago Architecture Foundation was our guide and her told us everything about almost every building we saw and a lot about Chicago’s history as well.
We took lots of pictures and enjoyed the nice weather. I guess you cannot always rely on the forecasts.
After our 90 minutes tour was over we decided to walk towards the Navy Pier which we’ve had seen during the tour. The Navy Pier is located directly on Lake Michigan and has great view of both the lake and the city skyline. There are lots of place to eat and Centennial Wheel.
After we walked around and discovered that there were no water taxis going from there we decided to walk back toward our hotel and look for a place to have a late lunch. We found a nice place called O’Briens Riverwalk Café. We all enjoyed our lunches and as the sky became more and more clouded we decided to go back to the hotel before the rain started and so Emily could take a nap.
After Emily woke up from her nap it was pool time. Together with papa she went swimming for almost 2 hours. With lots of jumps and splashes. At the end Emily wanted to go back to mama but first we needed towels, we ended up using 12 towels just for Emily!
Afterwards she was hungry and asked for chicken and fries, we decided to have a quick bite at a McDonalds, we made it with 1 minute left to place our order!
After dinner we went straight back to the hotel and around 10pm we finally got our little princess in bed!